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The Bag (cont.')

Posted: Wednesday January 9, 2008 2:13PM; Updated: Wednesday January 9, 2008 6:54PM
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Sometimes you just have to tell a good story that comes your way. This week's comes from Fatima Smith, the mother of Michael Beasley. We love talking to players' moms, and Ms. Smith, whom I spoke to at length for my story in this week's SI, is the best "mom" interview I've had in a long time, even slightly better than O.J. Mayo's mom, Alisha. (She even has her own blog, Mama Sayz, on the Web site of the Wichita Eagle.)

Anyway, I'll let Beasley's mom tell her story, which confirms that Mayo was indeed speaking the truth when he memorably told coach Tim Floyd that he'd help with the recruiting at USC:

"I got a famous call from O.J. last year. He called me two days before signing day on my cellphone asking for Michael. I'm puzzled, because Michael's away in school. Who's calling Michael on my cellphone? He says, 'May I speak to Michael?' I say, 'He's not here. Who's calling?'"

"He says his name is like O'Jambolin or something. [Mayo's real name is Ovington J'Anthony]. He didn't say O.J. Mayo. I say, 'Who?' He says, 'O.J., O.J. Mayo.' I say, 'Hi, how you doin'? Are you goin' to Kansas State?' He says, 'No, Ms. Beasley,' which drives me nuts. My name is Smith!

"He says, 'Ms. Beasley, I'm just calling to see if we can get Michael to come out to USC.' I say, 'Oh, no, sugar, no, sweetie pie, you need to come to Kansas State.' He's like, 'Ms. Beasley, we'll look out for Michael. I'll keep an eye out for him myself.'

"I say, 'O.J., you need someone to look out for you! Why don't you just come to Kansas State? It'll be a great team.' He says, 'We'll have a great team too.' I say, 'O.J., if you were having a great team you wouldn't be calling me at the 11th hour. Call Huggs. I'm sure he'll take you.' So I called Huggs and said, 'Hey, I just offered O.J. a scholarship. You got one? Dalonte [Hill], you got a scholarship?' They said, 'No, you're the one who offered him a scholarship!

"But I like O.J. He's very marketable. He has a great smile, and he's so charismatic. He's a face for somethin'. Michael's not bad-looking. I tell him to start smiling a little more and he puts that plastic smile on. But O.J. smiles and the world lights up! Michael, he's just a goofball."

Ladies and gentlemen, Mike Beasley's mom.

Send your questions in, and we'll get to them next week, along with our top movies of 2007 and (drumroll please) the world-renowned Your Company Name Here Magic Eight, our annual listing of the eight teams from which we guarantee the national champion will emerge.

Have a great week.

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